From the nation:
"In today's knowledge-based
economy, a high-quality education is more important than ever. However, the
increasing costs of higher education have become a growing burden for parents
and students, putting the dream of a college degree out of reach for many
low-income families. I am pleased to learn that the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill has established the Carolina Covenant to offer low-income
students a debt free college education. The Carolina Covenant shows how public
and private organizations can work together to help low-income and
first-generation students pursue a higher education. As a senior member of the
U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I applaud these efforts and
encourage other colleges and universities, both public and private, to seek
similar creative solutions to serve our nation's neediest students."
"This is a first-rate move by a first-rate university. At a time when most other flagship institutions are shifting their limited financial aid resources to more affluent students and forcing low-income students to accept more loan debt to enroll, it is encouraging to see UNC-Chapel Hill developing increased attention and assistance to their neediest deserving students. I hope that other institutions will see the program’s success and follow UNC-Chapel Hill’s lead."
-- Dr. Jerry S. Davis, vice president for research, Lumina Foundation for Education
"The Carolina Covenant program comes at a critical time for North Carolina. Our economy is hurting –and there is nothing more important than providing an education for students from low-income families at a time when it is needed most. Carolina will provide these young men and women a wonderful education, which will supply them with the necessary tools to succeed. I applaud the leadership and foresight that the University of North Carolina is showing in this endeavor – providing the opportunity for every student to obtain a first-rate education is truly making a positive difference in the lives of others."
-- N.C. Senator Elizabeth Dole
"UNC's Carolina Covenant is a landmark in student aid reform that will make college an option for many more students. We should make it possible for all Americans to work their way through college. Now Carolina is a national model once again. I congratulate Chancellor James Moeser and his team for their vision and leadership. The Carolina Covenant is founded on the same two principles as my College for Everyone initiative: first, every young person who graduates from high school prepared for college and is willing to work part time ought to have the chance to go to college. Second, no young person should be scared away from going to college by sticker shock from sky-high tuition."
-- N.C. Senator John Edwards, presidential candidate; member, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which has jurisdiction over reauthorization of the Higher Education Act
"I congratulate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on its development of an innovative means of enhancing accessibility for low-income students. Improving access is an ongoing challenge for campuses across the country, and the nation's higher education leadership will continue to make this a top priority."
-- Nils Hasselmo, President, Association of American Universities
"This is a major financial-aid initiative for a public university, and the University of North Carolina should be applauded for its commitment to meeting the needs of low-income students. We are in an era when many states and institutions are awarding more and more of their financial aid to wealthier students in order to pursue more narrow enrollment management goals. The fact that UNC has made this promise to low-income students that they will be able to graduate debt-free, especially in light of the fiscal constraints facing North Carolina like so many other states, is one of the few bright spots in higher education finance today."
-- Donald E. Heller, associate professor, senior research associate, Center for the Study of Higher Education, The Pennsylvania State University
"The University of North Carolina is to be commended for creating such an innovative program aimed at insuring debt-free educational opportunities for financially disadvantaged, academically qualified students. I have no doubt that this exemplary effort will soon become a model for many other universities."
-- Dr. William E. "Brit" Kirwan, chancellor, University of Maryland system, and a participant this week in Congressional committee discussions related to reauthorizing the Higher Education Act
"The Carolina Covenant announced by Chancellor Moeser demonstrates in deeds – not words – this superb public university's enduring commitment to access for all qualified students – including those of low income who so desperately need support so they can contribute their talents to America. This bold, yet practical initiative, addresses a great national need – access to higher education for all. It may well become a model nationally as our universities work to eliminate the burden of borrowing for those in our society who can least afford the snares of indebtedness. Bravo to James Moeser and Chapel Hill!"
-- C. Peter Magrath, president, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges
"The increasing cost of college tuitions has become a concern for nearly every student seeking higher education. For students from low-income families, a lack of financial resources may be the only thing that stands between them and the college experience. The Carolina Covenant will help bridge the gap that currently exists for many students, and it is highly appropriate that the first public university is undertaking such an exemplary initiative. I commend Chancellor Moeser and his team for their fine efforts and for their proven commitment to education."
"The Carolina Covenant is a bold and innovative college financing strategy, especially in these tight economic times. This new program attacks the problems of access and affordability in a deliberative and strategic fashion. I hope other institutions will emulate this effort to address the special financial problems of the most needy."
-- David Ward, president, American Council on Education
From the state:
"Our state has so many talented young people who dream of success, but lack the means to pursue higher learning. The Carolina Covenant puts their dreams in reach. I applaud the university for making education more affordable and accessible to the people of our state - because a good education is the key to success for each and every student and, as a result, for all of North Carolina."
-- Marc Basnight, Senate president pro tempore
"It is of vital importance to the long-term well-being of our State that children have access to our outstanding universities. The Carolina Covenant will further enhance our efforts to open doors to all prospective students, particularly to those who need our help the most."
-- Representative James B. Black, co-speaker, House of Representatives
"Throughout its long history, the 16-campus University of North Carolina has sought to provide an excellent education at the lowest possible cost to the people of the state. This heritage is one of the great strengths of our university — one that we must extend to future generations of students. The Carolina Covenant initiative embodies UNC-Chapel Hill’s historic commitment to ensuring affordable access to qualified students from all walks of life. It acknowledges that our state’s lingering recession has strained the ability of many families and students to pay for higher education, and it will provide an important supplement to other forms of need-based financial aid."
-- Molly Corbett Broad, president, University of North Carolina
"As a Carolina alumnus, I am proud that the university is again demonstrating its leadership by putting the best interests of North Carolina students and their families first. Education is the key to North Carolina's future, and the Carolina Covenant is making Chapel Hill accessible and affordable for our students. I commend them for their hard work on this important initiative."
-- Governor Mike Easley
"It is a great step for access to quality education for North Carolina students."
-- Representative Joe Hackney
"By reallocating existing funds, the chancellor has created an effective incentive for young people to complete their education. This is the kind of economic tool that will provide long-term benefits for the student and for the state. Carolina continues its great tradition of providing affordable quality education for all our children."
-- Representative Verla C. Insko
"As a young high school graduate, I never imagined that I would be able to go to college. But I visited Chapel Hill one day, fell in love with the campus, and decided that’s where I wanted to go. The Carolina Covenant will make college possible for all the young people out there who don’t realize they can go to college."
-- Representative Richard T. Morgan, co-speaker, House of Representatives
"I am tremendously proud of Carolina. The Carolina Covenant is a great way to tell young people that college is possible."
-- Senator Tony Rand
"This is a wonderful opportunity for students to receive a quality education and enter the workforce debt-free. I commend Chancellor Moeser and the university for developing such an outstanding initiative."
-- Senator Richard Stevens
From the university:
"The Carolina Covenant helps dispel the myth that a college education is out of reach for some students. This is the best news college students have heard in a long time."
-- Matt Tepper, student body president, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Access to public higher education is a grave concern in many states, as tuition and costs escalate. Great public universities like Carolina play a crucial role in educating future generations about great ideas and pressing social problems. It is imperative that we remove barriers that may limit the chance for our best and brightest to receive a superb education and turn their talents to best use upon graduation without crushing debt loads that mortgage our collective futures."
-- Judith Wegner, chair of the faculty and law professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"The Carolina Covenant is an extraordinary commitment to the people of North Carolina, particularly low-income families. The state’s taxpayers have invested in this university, even during tough budget years. We want to show that same kind of commitment. The Carolina Covenant is just one way we can demonstrate that students from all income levels – not just those with means – can afford a Carolina education. With this initiative, we have assured that Carolina remains accessible and affordable to the sons and daughters of this state."
-- Richard T. Williams, chair, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees
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